Tag Archives: iOS 4.0

Wireless Keyboard + iPhone = Pure Magic!

22 Jul


One of the notable features of the iOS 4 update was the fact that it would let the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 connect to keyboards over Bluetooth. Well, we decided to give it a go the moment we upgraded our iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 and managed to get our hands on Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. Why Apple’s keyboard when we were told that the software upgrade would make the device work just as well with any other? Well, mainly because it had music function keys, which we thought would be cool to try out and of course, because we felt that it would work best, thanks to the Apple connection. That it looked cool as hell and was the lightest wireless keyboard in town might have also had something to do with it at some level.
The first thing to do, of course, was to turn on Bluetooth in both devices. This resulted in the iPhone detecting the wireless keyboard but not pairing with it. To initiate pairing, we just touched the wireless keyboard highlighted on the iPhone screen and were presented with a numeric code to punch in and enter on the wireless keyboard. We did so, and hey presto, we were connected. That was literally all there was to it. Continue reading

Why Apple's FaceTime will bring back video calling from the grave

9 Jun

Video calling has been around ever since 3G networks were first rolled out about six years ago. In fact, it was one of the three key features that were used to sell 3G (faster Internet and live mobile TV streaming being the other two). Ironic as it may sound, video calling never really took off as carriers struggled to provide bandwidth as the number of 3G subscribers ballooned. The experience is usually so pathetic that many handset vendors have stopped giving a front video call camera (why increase the build of material cost, even if it is just a Dollar, when users won’t use the feature?). We have a feeling that the iPhone 4 might just revive the front video calling camera.



It is only Steve Jobs for whom ‘critical’ issues like bandwidth availability don’t matter. His logic is simple: If the carrier cannot provide decent bandwidth for a video call, take the carrier out of the picture. The result is FaceTime, a Wi-Fi only iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 video calling service. While it is restricted at the moment to only iPhone 4, we can look forward to services similar to FaceTime coming to other platforms/devices, especially Android.

However, FaceTime certainly won’t become standardised any time soon, considering that carriers are completely bypassed and they won’t make any revenues. But that again is one of the benefits of FaceTime – you won’t have to pay extra to your carrier to make a video call of questionable quality – which will make it supremely popular.

Aye, there's a new iPhone in town

7 Jun

For once, all the speculation about what Steve Jobs would reveal at the WWDC was spot on. After some remarks about the iPad, some jibes at Google (“A friend of mine wrote this, and he sent me an email and he said I could use it. I earned more in the first day of selling Elements than I did in the past 5 years of Google ads on periodictable.com.”) and demos of a few games, the Cupertino Czar gave the tech world a glimpse of what it had been waiting for – iPhone 4. And this is the first one that marks a really radical departure from the original godphone in looks and design, unless you are talking of the one the folks at Gizmodo dug up. Jobs called it the “most precise thing and most beautiful thing we’ve ever made” and frankly it did look an eyeful, although some might miss the more rounded feel of the previous iPhones.

Although Jobs hailed it as the slimmest smartphone in town at a mere 9.3mm thick with a metallic band that (surpirse!) doubled up as an antenna, what really grabbed eyeballs was the 3.5 inch “retina screen” (jargon alert!) with an amazing density of 326 pixels per inch and a resolution of 960×640, which gave looking at pictures, videos and even text a whole new dimension – in simple terms, this baby has 78% of the pixel count of the much bigger-screened iPad. As if that were not enough, the demand for the front facing camera was met too, the processor under the hood was an A4 with 1 Ghz clockspeed, a gyroscope was added to the playing mix, the battery was beefed up, and to round things off, the megapixel count of the back camera was ratcheted up to 5MP, with HD video recording thrown into the mix to make this one multimedia monster.

But of course, hardware is only part of the charm of what has become known all over the world as the Godphone and sure enough, Stevie J was pulling rabbits out of the hat, highlighting the multi-tasking ability of the device, welcoming apps like iBook (with PDF support) and iMovie (which we frankly think is the most devastating video editing app ever seen on a handset, if videos are anything to go by) to the iPhone, highlighting the potential of iAds (evidently $60 million has been committed for the second half of the year from iAds advertisers), and even making some Apple faithful wince by rechristening the Apple OS as iOS 4. We should have expected it from a company that has a fixation with the word “i” when it comes to products – iPod, iPhone, iLife, iMac, iPad, iTunes,…igiveup!

There was even a “one more thing” moment – only it ended up with Steve talking to design wiz Jonathan Ive on Apple’s video calling app, FaceTime, which worked just dandy without requiring ANY set-up of any sort, but also works only if both users are using iPhone 4s and are on Wi-Fi – steep requirements for some.

At the end, it was time for the price – and this time, we got it right. The iPhone 4 would come in two colours, black and white, and would carry price tags of $199 for 32GB 16 GB and $299 for 64GB 32 GB. It would start shipping to five countries on June 24 – USA, France, Germany, UK and Japan – and would be available in 88 countries (including India, we hope) come September. In the meantime, users of the iPhone 3G and 3GS as well as iPod touch can upgrade to iOS 4.0 for no cost at all (yes, even for iPod touch owners) on June 21.

When the dust had finally settled, we were left pondering about the new iPhone and while our opinions will riddle the pages of this web site for many days to come, our initial feel was that while there was no real “killer app” (to use Jobspeak) on the iPhone 4, it certainly was the first of the Godphone range that can hold its own in the tech spec department against most of the competition in smartphone town. Combine that with its staggering array of apps (more than five billion downloads already) and you will understand why we are having second thoughts about our decision to buy iPads. Come September…and come fast, please.